Traditional software engineering methodologies have mostly evolved from the environment of proprietary, large-scale software systems. Here, software design principles operate within a hierarchical decision- making context. Development of banking, enterprise resource and complex weapons systems all fit this paradigm. However, another paradigm for developing software-intensive systems has emerged, the paradigm of open source software. Although from a traditional perspective open source projects might look like chaos, their real-world results have been spectacular. This chapter presents open source software development as a fundamentally new paradigm driven by economics and facilitated by new processes. The new paradigm’s revolutionary aspects are explored, a framework for describing the massive impact brought about by the new paradigm is proposed, and directions of future research are outlined. The proposed framework’s goals are to help the understanding of the open source paradigm as a new economic revolution and stimulate research in designing open source software.
What Is The Open Source Revolution?
Any discussion of the open source revolution needs to begin with the observation that open collaboration, open publishing of findings, and building on the breakthrough efforts of others are at the heart of the scientific process. Society emerged from the Dark Ages and has experienced a 400-year period of accelerating technological innovation using this process.